In this Book

The Americas That Might Have Been
summary

This work answers the hypothetical question: What would the Americas be like today—politically, economically, culturally—if Columbus and the Europeans had never found them, and how would American peoples interact with the world's other societies? It assumes that Columbus did not embark from Spain in 1492 and that no Europeans found or settled the New World afterward, leaving the peoples of the two American continents free to follow the natural course of their Native lives.

The Americas That Might Have Been is a professional but layman-accessible, fact-based, nonfiction account of the major Native American political states that were thriving in the New World in 1492. Granberry considers a contemporary New World in which the glories of Aztec Mexico, Maya Middle America, and Inca Peru survived intact. He imagines the roles that the Iroquois Confederacy of the American Northeast, the powerful city-states along the Mississippi River in the Midwest and Southeast, the Navajo Nation and the Pueblo culture of the Southwest, the Eskimo Nation in the Far North, and the Ta&iactue;no/Arawak chiefdoms of the Caribbean would play in American and world politics in the 21st Century.

Following a critical examination of the data using empirical archaeology, linguistics, and ethnohistory, Granberry presents a reasoned and compelling discussion of native cultures and the paths they would have logically taken over the past five centuries. He reveals the spectacular futures these brilliant pre-Columbian societies might have had, if not for one epochal meeting that set off a chain of events so overwhelming to them that the course of human history was forever changed.

"Offers the latitude to explain a model of cultural evolution based on kinship categories while speculating about hjow several Indian nations might have developed sans colonialism."—North Dakota Quarterly



Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Frontmatter
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. vii-viii
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  1. List of Figures
  2. p. ix
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  1. Preface
  2. pp. xi-xiii
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  1. Introduction: The Whys and Wherefores
  2. pp. 1-19
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  1. Part I: In the Beginning
  2. p. 21
  1. 1. Men Out of Asia
  2. pp. 23-32
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  1. 2. America 1492
  2. pp. 33-37
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  1. Part II: The Inner Man
  2. p. 39
  1. 3. Native Philosophies of Life
  2. pp. 41-45
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  1. 4. Unitary Norms: The Asian Perspective
  2. pp. 46-51
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  1. 5. The Dualistic View: The European Norm
  2. pp. 52-61
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  1. 6. The Trinary Compromise: The Near Eastern Norm
  2. pp. 62-68
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  1. Part III: The Matrix of Lives
  2. p. 69
  1. 7. The Empire of Tawantinsuyu
  2. pp. 71-83
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  1. 8. The Empire of the M
  2. pp. 84-94
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  1. 9. The Maya Kingdoms
  2. pp. 95-106
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  1. 10. The Mississippian Cities and Towns
  2. pp. 107-116
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  1. 11. The Pueblo Towns
  2. pp. 117-126
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  1. 12. The Ta
  2. pp. 127-137
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  1. Part IV: The Future of the Past
  2. p. 139
  1. 13. Hemispheric-Internal Relationships in the Twenty-first Century: The Inner Design
  2. pp. 141-155
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  1. 14. Commerce and Discovery of the Old World
  2. pp. 156-170
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  1. 15. International Alliances and Interaction in the Twenty-first Century: The Outer Scheme
  2. pp. 171-177
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  1. Epilogue: The First Baktun
  2. pp. 178-179
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  1. References
  2. pp. 181-197
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 199-204
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